Christian Horner’s surprise choice for the ‘most cut-throat, ruthless’ F1 rival

Sam Cooper
Red Bull boss Christian Horner, wearing sunglasses, in the paddock at the Italian Grand Prix.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner in the paddock at the Italian Grand Prix.

Christian Horner has revealed it is Ross Brawn and not Toto Wolff that has been his most “cut-throat” F1 rival.

Horner may now be known as one half of the most intriguing team principal dynamics on the grid but before Wolff, it was Brawn that Horner locked horns with.

It was in 2009 when Brawn’s team stunned the world to win the World Championship at the first time of asking before Horner ushered in an era of Red Bull dominance.

Christian Horner praises ‘ruthless competitor’ Ross Brawn

Both men have been looking back at that season as part of the new documentary and Horner remarked that Brawn topped the list when it came to competitiveness.

“Behind the scenes, he’s the most cut-throat, ruthless competitor probably that we’ve ever come across,” says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner in episode one.

It is not the first time Horner has been in praise of his opposite number and in 2015 with F1 at a crossroads, the Red Bull boss suggested Brawn should be the man to guide them.

“The Strategy Group at the moment is fairly inept and I keep saying it needs the commercial rights holder and the governing body to decide what they want Formula 1 to be and then put it on the table to the teams and say ‘this is what we want the product to be, these are the rules, there is the entry form’,” Horner said back then.

“Maybe you need an independent, someone that isn’t currently involved, somebody like a Ross Brawn, who understands the business, understands the challenges to write the specification for what a car should be.”

Brawn would go on to take that role having left Mercedes, who bought his F1 team, and helped guide Liberty Media during the early years of their ownership. recommends

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The legendary F1 figure retired in 2022 and recently gave Horner some advice of his own.

“Even though [Red Bull] have this domination at the moment, you will see it [close up] in time,” he told talkSPORT.

“And we’re seeing little indications. McLaren, with [Lando] Norris and occasionally [Oscar] Piastri, they’re knocking at the door, keeping them honest, let’s put it that way.

“I think over this winter, I’m optimistic that there will be a reset. When you’re at the front, you have the advantage of being able to start the design of your new car earlier and that’s when that domination can sometimes run for several years.

“What I want to see quite frankly is someone more competitive in the other car because unfortunately, Sergio’s not putting up much competition for Max.

“And even when you get a dominant car, if you can get someone in the other car who’s giving them a hard time [it can be exciting].”

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